Building Sustainable Roads: Dow Strengthens Indonesia’s Plastics Waste Management Efforts

With a goal to reduce marine debris and advance a circular economy, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company , has announced a joint effort with The Indonesian Aromatic & Plastic Olefin Industry Association (INAPLAS); Indonesia Plastic Recycling Association (ADUPI); PT Polytama Propindo (Indonesia PP Manufacturing); the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and the Indonesian government to further develop the country’s environmentally friendly plastic road building project.

Aimed at helping the Indonesian government reach its goal of reducing plastics waste in the ocean by 70 percent by 2025, ADUPI will continue to provide the necessary plastics waste material, and together with Dow’s technology expertise, will work with various stakeholders to turn that waste into sustainable roads. At the recent United Nations Environment Summit held earlier this month, plastics waste contamination is now recognized as a planetary issue with much of the world’s marine ecology under threat. According to research, plastics waste in Indonesia is estimated to reach 9.52 million tons by 2019, or 14 percent of the country’s total waste. This amount of plastics waste could be used to pave an equivalent of 190,000 kilometers of new roads. “Companies do not make plastics with the intent of it ending up in the ocean, and we acknowledge the strong role the industry must play in order to help eliminate ocean plastic waste by 2035," said Bambang Candra, Asia Pacific Commercial Vice President, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “We are extremely pleased with the success of this project and what it promises. The technology behind these new plastic roads has proven simple enough for wide scale application in Indonesia’s transport infrastructure. We are confident it will help manage the sheer volume of plastics waste the country produces.” The first plastic road trial was completed in Depok city, West Java, Indonesia, in Q3 of 2017. It saw 3.5 metric tons of plastics waste material mixed into asphalt to create a 1.8 kilometer long proof of concept, which covered a total area of 9,781 square meters. The result of the two-month long project was a highly resistant plastics waste road that was more durable and stronger than typical roads. While still undergoing further testing at the PUSJATAN (National Centre of Road and Bridge Construction), the project has been identified by Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs as one of national importance. The success of this project furthers Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals to advance a circular economy by delivering solutions to tackle environmental issues, raise awareness on recycling and reuse of plastics and create a sustainable business environment for plastics producers and consumers alike.

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